It was worrying. A bar inn. Mining town. Mining slaves. Hmmmm. Lining the words up like this suggested a certain kind of danger to me. I’m not sure what I would do if I came back from the hot spring and all of my belongings were gone. Really. All this gear and equipment had taken so much effort on my part to collect, I would cry if they were taken from me. I would cry and cover this town with ice until the culprit was caught.
“I think I’ll bring it with me after all.”
While I wouldn’t be wearing my equipment, I decided to bring everything as luggage. Once I was carrying the bag, another thing worried me.
“At hot springs, you take your clothes off and…set your belongings aside…”
Naked. Defenseless. And this place wasn’t safe… No, it was not good for me to get so paranoid.
I was acting like a tourist in a foreign country. Well, that was actually kind of true, though.
Hmm, but it’s also those unwary tourists that fall prey to such things… My old friend Yasuda told me as much. And he was always right.
Alright, I just thought of something. As soon as I take my clothes off, I would freeze my bag to the ground. It would be frozen solid, and cold enough to stick to anyone who tries to touch it…yeah, it was brilliant. That was it. I better go now and find Daniela.
And so I put on my normal clothes and carried the bag on my back, before turning the lights off and leaving my room.
□ □ □ □
We met up in front of the inn and made our way to the hot spring. Daniela asked me why I was carrying my stuff on the way, and so I explained that I thought this place was dangerous. She had a good laugh.
“The rooms have magic security devices. Did you not see them?”
“They did? Oh, you mean those weird looking decorations?”
“Aye. They are for security. If anyone forces their way in without a key, it will activate and bind their movement.”
“Ahhhh…who would have thought…”
What a waste of effort. She should have told me sooner.
“In that case, I’m putting this back in my room.”
“I will go on ahead then.”
I waved at Daniela and pushed my AGI to its limits as I rushed back to the inn and then to the hot spring again. I was a sweaty mess when I arrived, but at least I was looking forward to it even more now…I think.
I was now in the changing room. There were separate changing rooms for men and women, and so Daniela and I were no longer together.
It’s not like I had high expectations of it being a mixed bath…
But I was at least able to take comfort in the security of my belongings as I stripped. Ah, it was refreshing. It would be even more refreshing to go outside like this. I think stupidly as I open the door that led to the hot spring. Dense clouds of steam rose from within, and I could barely see anything. This was creepy… I slowly walked forward, moving towards the sounds of splashing water. And then the hot spring was finally visible. I try dipping my hand in it, and its scalding. Maybe this was near the source, from where it flowed to the rest of the place. As I had an idea of where the hot spring was now, I looked for a place to wash. It took several minutes of wandering around before I found it and cleaned myself. But all of my wanderings had disoriented me, and I had to wander again in order to find the hot spring. The loud splashing from before was no longer audible, which made my search even more difficult. But wait, did that mean that someone was here? I had barely noticed… Finally, I reach the edge of the hot spring and sink into the water.
“Ahhhhhh…so good…but hot…and I can’t see a thing…”
I stretch my legs and relax. The steam was so thick in here, and as it was supposed to be in the cliffs, I guess this was like cave hot spring. I wish I could actually see what it looked like…but this steam was making it impossible.
“If only I could use her wind magic to blow it away…”
“Ah, that is an idea. Wait a second.”
Wait. Why can I hear Daniela’s voice? There was no one to answer my questions, instead, a cool wind brushed against my face, pushing the steam away. As the steam began to move, the scenery came into view. As I had thought, the room was a large cave with magical lanterns on the walls. Though they were quite useless with all of the steam. The water was cloudy and looked like it would do your skin a lot of good. The bath itself was quite large. The exit seemed so far from where I was sitting. And there were two of them.
“Why are there two doors…”
“To separate the changing rooms, I would imagine.”
“You do realize that it makes no sense to separate the rooms, but not the bathes?”
I tried to explain this to Daniela, as she relaxed in front of me. But there was no reasoning with someone who had lost themselves to the power of hot water.